Real-world retail is still pretty rough, so GameStop is adding digital distribution to its list of buying options.
GameStop is taking a note from services like Amazon, Steam, and Direct2Drive by adding digital distribution to its website. For the moment, gamers can buy titles and install them on one to three PCs, though GameStop gift cards/certificates don't work with the distribution service because it's being handled by a third party.
At the moment, only PC downloads are available on the site, though it advertises that service for Xbox Live is "coming soon." The download site doesn't seem to have too many big deals on it (for now, at least), though Massively notes that Final Fantasy XI's Ultimate Collection is on sale for $9.99 (which is also true for the boxed version).
While GameStop hasn't exactly been pulling a Blockbuster Video and closing down its stores to save money, the retail chain hasn't had an easy time of things over the past few years. Looking at how the company's stock has tumbled from over $60 a share in late 2007 to less than $20 now. It's not surprising that the company is looking for new ways to make money, though I'm not sure how successful this venture will be, seeing as how GameStop is arriving pretty late to the party. Also, not allowing customers to use store credit to buy games with the service probably won't help with the service's reception, so the company might want to look into fixing that.